The short term rental market fascinates me. It’s a fairly new trend but increasingly prevalent in most major cities, and certainly even in rural Ontario it’s beginning to catch on. And why not - it’s a great solution for so many in so many ways. It utilizes space that may be otherwise overlooked or ignored. It’s a potential source of new income that may be inconsistent, but yields a higher net income per day. And It offers owners a flexible space that they can use themselves or rent and interchange these uses as they see fit.
The average hotel stay in Canada is $180 a night (as of 2018). The average AirBnB is just 15% less at $165. So comparable in price but with AirBnB offering so much more in terms of choice, variety and size, I’m not surprised short term rentals are on the rise. Let’s face it - staying at a property that’s been personality designed or that you’ve chosen because of its specific style or location is a pretty new and innovative way to elevate your vacation. It’s also typically more practical with kitchen or catering facilities and just so much more fun than a hotel chain!
I also love the element of sharing. While shooting Handmade Hotels we heard repeatedly how homeowners interacted with guests and how the sharing of culture/knowledge/space was often what hosts loved most about opening up their spaces to complete strangers. It’s an opportunity to be a local tour guide in the area you’ve chosen to live (and probably love) and an opportunity to impress guests. The entire experience represents a fascinating and refreshing cultural shift in vacationing that pairs travelers with locals. No more incognito vacations - it’s a more personal experiences which seems to be creating more memorable experiences for everyone involved.
For me, shooting Handmade Hotels was also a source of inspiration in terms of design. I explores spaces that had been lovingly curated. Every property had at least one “I want to do that” design moment or piece of furniture or art that caught my eye. Some of the spaces were completed by designers, but for the most part these are regular homeowners with a passion and flare for style. They had been willing to share heirlooms, create pieces of furniture or art and have their guests enjoy and experience the special space(s) they had created. And they were brave - whether it was an all white pallet like we saw at the Sanctuary, a really wild collection like the Darling Mansion, or a handbuilt and re-salvaged property like the Cabin on the Lake - homeowners were breaking the rules and doing it in style. I loved it. I found it inspiring. And as a result, it inspired me to be bolder with my own designs. So thank you to all the Handmade Hotels hosts – Abigail, Tanya, Tracey, Louis-Phillippe, Penny, Jose, Paul, Sarah, Daniel, Matt, Luke, Tara, Bill, Brendan, Elaine, Gwen, Jaime, Anna, Tania and Kat, for opening my eyes to the possibilities.
I think the Short term rentals trend is here to stay - everyone wins - its an outlet for homeowners to explore design, and share their space and in return, guests get a fun, interesting, special experience. Oh yeah... and there’s the extra income too.
So next tine you’re taking a break I challenge you to look a little harder. Think out of the box and try and short term rental. I don’t think you’ll regret it.